Vegan How To Series – Introduction (Why this series?)

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vegan how to 2963b thumb   Vegan How To Series – Introduction (Why this series?)

As the year draws to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about this space and what I can do in the new year to challenge myself (and hopefully you) in new ways. It probably doesn’t come across this way on the blog, but I often struggle with questions like – What am I doing to make a difference? What can I do to help people and animals? Am I growing on a personal level? Lately, these questions have gone mostly unanswered. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing my recipes with you (and I know it makes a positive difference based on your feedback – thank you), so I have no plans to stop recipe development. It’s something I enjoy immensely more days than not. But there are other things I could be doing and I’ve felt this pull at my heart strings a lot in recent months. With only weeks to go until my cookbook manuscript is due, I’m feeling worn out and I’m sure this a big reason for the rut I feel like I’m stuck in. The good thing about a rut is that it usually prompts a change for the better (with time). Discomfort prompts motion.

In spirit of change, I’m starting a series on veganism this year – simple posts that can make the transition to a plant-based diet easier. I’m really excited about this. To be honest, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for over a year now, but I tend to suffer from the mindset that if I can’t do it exactly right or if I don’t know all the answers, then I shouldn’t do it at all. Well, this is a rather silly way to go through life, don’t you think? The truth is, I’m the only one holding myself back. I want to share whatever it is that I can offer and trust that it will be helpful for some of you. Even if you have no desire of going vegan or if you are already a vegan yourself, I still hope that this series will be inspiring and peak some curiosity about things you may want to know more about.

Here are some examples of questions I receive every week:

What can I replace yogurt with?

What’s a substitute for sour cream?

I have no idea what to do. Do you have a vegan 101 Series I can read through to get started?

What do you eat each day?

How do I get protein?

What the bleep is a flax egg????

What do I do if I have a craving for an old food?

Why do you soak beans and nuts? Will my husband fart less if I soak his nuts? (Yes someone wrote this once…I almost spit out my drink.)

I want to start TODAY…help me!

It occurred to me that it would be more helpful if I posted my experiences on the blog, rather than simply via email. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that a vegan diet isn’t about what you take away; it’s really about what you add in. I didn’t know this for a long time. For every food that I decided to forgo, I eventually added at least a handful of new, vibrant foods in its place. But first, I had to learn what it is I could add into my diet. This wasn’t easy for me in the beginning and I suspect it’s not for many. Three and a half years into it, I’m still very much learning.

To make this series a success, it’s important for me to have your feedback and input. I’d love to know some of the questions you are struggling with right now or perhaps things you struggled with in the past but triumphed over. Everyone loves a good success story, myself included. [Side note: I’m considering the return of reader success stories, perhaps in a Q & A format – would you enjoy this feature again on OSG?]

For those of you who are making some changes to your diet in 2013, I hope you’ll find this series timely and helpful in your journey. More on all of this very soon.

For more in this series, see:

Part 1: How To Make The Transition

Part 2: Replacing Dairy Milk

Part 3: Homemade Oat Milk

Part 4: Homemade Almond Milk

Part 5:  Ten Tips for eating out as a vegan

I wish you a happy, fun, and safe New Year’s surrounded by the people you love! Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for reading Oh She Glows and bringing me into your home each week. I bid farewell to 2012 filled with gratitude.

Previous Posts

{ 314 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie Olson December 31, 2012

Yay, this is wonderful! I’m very excited. Here are my curiosities:

1. How do you meet other vegans? I’ve been eating about 90% vegan for months and am making the switch to 100% for the new year (so, on Chicago time, in like 14 hours) and couldn’t be more excited or READY. However, I’m kinda flyin’ solo and would love to meet more vegans. Do you have ideas? Any way you can rally us together via your blog?

2. Is there some secret vegan website where people can get nooch for cheap?

3. I could likely dig through your archives and find an answer but I’m always curious how each vegan handles restaurants!

4. Success stories sound great. Each person should include 1-3 favorite recipes/go-to meals with their success story. I love hearing how other people eat.

5. I’ve recently been thinking about whether or not I would feel comfortable dating a meat-eater. I haven’t reached any consensus or final decision, and honestly dating is really low on my priority list right now, so it certainly isn’t a pressing issue. However, I’m just curious about your thoughts on the matter. If I don’t personally feel okay about meat-eating due to environmental, economic, and animal compassion issues (etc), what does that mean if I date someone who supports that industry? I don’t know. I just want to hear what you think.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. But this is wonderful. You are my favorite.

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Brittany December 31, 2012

These are all wonderful questions – I’d love to hear responses on all of them!!! :)

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Jessica January 1, 2013

I get my nooch at our big Fred Meyer grocery store (where you can also buy tires, underwear, or produce!) out of the bulk bins.

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Maggie Olson December 31, 2012

ALSO: the how-to stuff specifically regarding how to make vegan substitutions and cook vegan foods will be especially beneficial to send to my mother, who is a bit baffled by her vegan daughter.

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Sara December 31, 2012

My questions/concerns are mainly about cooking for one while living in a household full of carnivores, having convenient foods while being at college, and how in the WORLD to handle criticism/jokes at your diet? I’ve struggled with the last one, especially as of late, daily. I don’t mind answering questions for the curious or explaining my choices but the teasing and unrelentless jokes are starting to wear me thin. I can’t eat in peace anymore! At least ONCE a day I get teased even if it is something small. It’s beginning to wear me down and make me upset. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you!

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Brittany December 31, 2012

Sara,
I’m glad you brought this up! I feel ya!…I get hassled all the time, too. :( At least we are not alone.. I really don’t understand how anybody can judge a vegan lifestyle when it’s SO healthy and such a positive impact on the environment, animals, etc! When I make food that non-vegans find appealing, I want to respond with, “Sorry, you won’t like this — no animals were tortured in the making, and it isn’t lined with any cardiovascular disease causing cholesterol.” But, I know that’s not very nice. :)

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Kelsea December 31, 2012

So excited for this!!! Your ideas and recipes are already so wonderful that making a how-to guide on the blog will be so helpful! Can’t wait to keep reading!

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Jodi December 31, 2012

This is such a great idea! I often find that we tend to veer away from what makes us change in the first place; for example, sometimes I need to remind myself of why I became vegan, and why it’s important to me to maintain my vegan lifestyle. In no way am I considering ending being vegan, but sometimes it’s beneficial to be reminded of why we do the things we do. I’d love to hear you speak on that – the reflection part of our actions.

A few questions for you: How do you ensure that you are sticking to the “basics” of a vegan lifestyle (veggies, grains, legumes, fruits, and other whole foods)? I live in a city where I have a plentiful amount of vegan take-out options, and some nights when I’m exhausted, it’s just too easy to order it. And then later in the week I realize I haven’t made myself a big salad in 6 days, when I use to eat at least one salad a day while living in the suburbs. I’m sure it is similar for you now living in Toronto. How do you/would you handle a situation like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also – I echo another reader’s comment – how do you make meals work with you and your meat-eater husband? I am in the same situation and struggle with this. Thank you, Angela, and Happy New Year!

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Marla December 31, 2012

I am so excitedd about this. I have fallen off the vegan wagon recently and am rededicating in 2013. I love your recipes and can’t wait for your book. Thank you!!

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Natalie December 31, 2012

You said you ask yourself what you are doing to make a difference. I’ve been drafting an email to you for months now that I haven’t dared to send. I wanted to tell you what a difference you make to one tiny person on the other side of the planet. Many days I struggle with a longstanding illness and it’s hard to find things to motivate or inspire me. Your blog brings me so much joy everyday. Your recipes have got me doing things when there is very little else I am able to do. Your photography is inspiring and brings me a lot of joy as well. And mostly your sunny and intelligent disposition that comes through in your writing makes me smile when I’m having a bleak day.
So, you just never know what kind of a difference you’re making on any given day unless sometimes someone tells you. So thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 31, 2012

I am so lucky to have you reading, thank you Natalie. That means the world to me!

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Stephanie December 31, 2012

Yay! That’s awesome Angela :) I’m looking forward to reading the series. I’m vegetarian working on becoming vegan, so this is right up my alley! Thank you for sharing your experience.

Stephanie
http://sharelovealways.blogspot.ca/

xoxo

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Jennie December 31, 2012

Thank you so much for starting this new series! I have been flirting with being a vegetarian/vegan for the greater part of 2012 and I’m hoping this coming year will be the switch-over for good to a vegan lifestyle. My husband and children are holding me back a bit (myself included at times) but I want to do this for their health as well as my own. Whole plant-based lifestyle here we come! Any suggestions for easing my family along with me are greatly appreciated!

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Kathryn December 31, 2012

I’ve been reading the comments about how to handle veganism in social situations and I thought I would offer my own thoughts on the issue. People invariably ask why I follow a plant-based diet and I tell them it is because I feel good when I eat like this. When I eat meat or dairy in particular, I just don’t feel well. I believe that I have the right to eat so that I don’t feel like crap all the time, and I refuse to feel guilty about doing what I need to do to look after myself. If I am going to be in a situation where someone else is cooking for me, I simply explain that I will not feel well if I eat certain foods, and offer to bring a dish that I make that I can eat and share with everyone else. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone argue that I should eat what they make when I approach the issue from a personal health angle. As a bonus, I get to share nourishing, healthy food and show people that eating a plant-based diet really is about adding and not taking away, as Ange so adroitly and beautifully stated above.

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Sarah L. December 31, 2012

Oh, you so rock. I’m really looking forward to this series. I think your blog was the biggest part of my health overhaul in 2012, and whenever anyone asks how I reached my healthy weight, I tell them it’s all about the plants. I’m happy, energetic, and a sought-after cook after switching to a mostly vegan whole foods diet. Thank you so much. Will be toasting to OSG tonight!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 31, 2012

Sarah, you are so sweet! Thank you. How about toasting to YOU tonight for all your amazing hard work? I can’t take credit, but I’m so glad to be a part of your journey.

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MIchelle December 31, 2012

I love your blog, even though I’m a meat eater…. I can live without meat, and love high protein recipes from an alternative source. The reason I haven’t switched to Vegetarian or Vegan is because it would limit any social eating to bread. I have a garlic allergy and in general I am very sensitive to most alliums. Which makes vegetables in most restaurants very dangerous. I eat bread and pasta but I don’t consider them food, only accessories (since I have to eat them with plain olive oil). Can you recommend a delicious garlic/onion substitute for your vampire followers? For example your creamy avocado sauce looks sinful! OH, and I dislike tofu very much but must find a way to manage my anemia… sorry… I’m really a very good eater.

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Alisa December 31, 2012

I would love to have some help with meal planning. I’ve never been good at it. I’d especially like quick meal ideas – there just aren’t enough hours in a day.

I also love reading success stories for a boost of inspiration.

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Fran December 31, 2012

I have gradually been moving over to a vegan diet and have decided that as from tomorrow I will be 100 percent vegan, so this series couldn’t come at a better time..I too have a problem eating out as all my friends are diehard carnivores and I also need some quick come backs for the idiots who say things like ‘well plants have feelings too’!! Happy New Year x

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Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner December 31, 2012

I absolutely cannot wait for you to start this series!

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Gay Coughlin December 31, 2012

I have been eating vegan since August 2012, but I really miss yogurt. I tried to make soy yogurt and it was a mess! I have bought soy yogurt and it tastes terrible. ” The Healthiest Diet in the World” by the Goldbergs is mostly vegan, but does use yogurt.

I am ready to go out and buy some organic whole milk yogurt because I miss it so much, or make my own with my yogurt maker.

What are your suggestions for how to deal with yogurt withdrawal? Thanks so much for all your recipes and I look forward to the New Year and your New Ideas!

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Brianna December 31, 2012

I recently found out that Trader Joe’s has a coconut-based yogurt that is supposed to be fantastic!

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Teresa December 31, 2012

So Delicious and Trader Joe’s coconut milk yogurts are both fantastic!!

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alex December 31, 2012

This sounds great! I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly a year now, and I’ve decided to mark tomorrow, Jan 1, as the final day of my very slow transition to being vegan, so this is very timely for me!

Something that I’ve noticed lately is that a lot of vegan websites and stories about veganism lean heavily on meat and dairy replacements (cheese, sausage, meatless crumbles, etc. etc. etc.), and I’d like to see that addressed, because it’s a question anyone who goes meatless has to face at some point.

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Vegan Radhika SArohia December 31, 2012

Great idea!
I’m vegan now after being vegetarian for awhile. I grew up in an omnivore family, pretty much eating everything.
But I love animals, so I can’t imagine not living a vegan life-style at this point. I feel like I have to do it, no choice.
One thing I struggled with was how long it took me to transition!
I found out about factory farming and everything a couple years ago, and that’s when I decided to shift over to becoming vegan. It took me months and months and months to make the switch! I remember falling off my vegan diet often in the beginning, having an odd slice of non-vegan pizza when I really wanted it, or non-vegan ice-cream/chocolate (or non-vegan cheese and crackers when everyone else was having them, stuff like that)
I felt really dismayed, like, here I was horrified by this factory farming and stuff and yet I was having trouble resisting my favourite comfort foods on a bad day or whatever
Luckily I read online about other vegan people who had taken a while to transition, and they all said to just hang in there, that eventually you won’t have those cravings or times of giving in or all this
This turned out to be true for me too. After several months, I just didn’t really want to have non-vegan foods, and I wasn’t really tempted by them anymore.
Now it’s not an issue at all, really. My whole family is not vegan, and none of my friends are vegan. But even when I’m surrounded by non-vegan desserts and items (esp at get-togethers, restaurants, holiday dinners and so on) I just don’t feel like having what they’re having. I’ll wait, or drive somewhere where I can buy something vegan, or go home and make something delicious and vegan for myself at home from blog recipes like on here. And it’s fine
So for anyone who is transitioning, and falling off the wagon sometimes, I’d say be patient with yourself and don’t worry if you mess up initially. If you’re really committed to helping animals, you’ll mess up less and less as time goes on, and it will be totally fine:)

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Laura S. January 3, 2013

I think this is the way it goes for many of us…slowly but surely I lost the DESIRE to eat anything non-vegan, and now I really don’t care if people give me a hard time for I know it is the best choice I have ever made. Even though I would love for more people to become vegan, I don’t push it on anyone. I do try to make it well-known though, so that people aren’t embarrassed or upset if they haven’t prepared something suitable for me (because as much as you tell them “It’s completely okay!” they still feel really bad).

I try to carry vegan snacks with me often, but if I’m faced with a situation in which I may have to skip a meal due to lack of options, I try to remember that there is more than enough food in this world and a missed meal will not kill me…I WILL be able to eat again!

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russell elsevier December 31, 2012

This idea of yours sounds like just what we need! We are recent adopters of a whole foods plant based diet! A wedding client of ours recommended your site to us! Thank you!

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Vegan Radhika SArohia December 31, 2012

“I bid farewell to 2012 filled with gratitude.”

^ I do too. I learned a lot in 2012. [What a lovely way to express it by the way! Thanks!]
Anyway, yea, goodbye 2012! I hope 2013 will be awesome:D

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Brenna December 31, 2012

FANTASTIC idea! I can’t wait to read this series.

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Kim December 31, 2012

First, I love your blog! Your recipes always turn out great! I am looking forward to your series, excellent idea. I love to read success stories and I love to hear what others eat on a daily basis. I also love short and easy dinner recipes, 5 ingredients or less and super healthy cookie or bar recipes (with fruit as substitute for sweetener and fat). I have been working toward eliminating wheat from my diet and I feel so much better. Trying to stick with oats, brown rice and brown rice pasta and quinoa.

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Emily December 31, 2012

Thank you so much for doing this Angela! I also love what you said about how ruts and discomfort can produce changes for the better. Here are just a few of the questions I can think of right now:

1. Building muscle/optimum fitness on a vegan diet. I recently started CrossFit and was vegetarian/lifting weights for the year prior and never really saw a lot of progress. CrossFit is really important to me and as I know that your body composition is primarily built in the kitchen, this is really important to me. How do you balance your food choices for fitness (servings of each ‘type’ of food per day, maybe?) and make sure you are really well fueling your body to build muscle, improve your fitness, etc.?
2. How to make good salads. Is there a kind of formula to make delicious salads? (I appreciated your post on “My Go-To Kale Salad” but I’m also trying to avoid sweeteners in 2013 (maple syrup in the dressing) and have trouble making salads I like to eat.
3. Supplementation. How do you know you’re getting enough iron, B12, etc.? Again, I love the ideals of veganism and enjoyed eating vegetarian but I really don’t want to compromise my health and fitness. This would be really helpful!

Also, I love success stories as well and I’m sure I’ll come up with more questions. But in the meantime, thanks Angela and have a happy New Year!

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Samantha December 31, 2012

You should read the book Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. He’s a super athlete and is totally vegan and gluten free! He answers a lot of questions that I had about food in that book. Also Eat and Run is another great book by a vegan athlete. I am huge fitness fanatic and one thing I have been looking more into is cutting out wheat/gluten. The more I read the more I am convinced that it is just weighing me down…might give that a try. Also, I use Garden of Life Raw Meal Protein powder after my workouts with some ground flax seed, maca root and chia seeds in it and it really helps me recover and it has tons of extra vitamins that vegans (or anyone for that matter) need. Just my two cents take it or leave it :)

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Emily December 31, 2012

Oh thank you so much! I will definitely look into those. I also want to cut out at least wheat/gluten but also limit myself to ‘true’ whole grains, those that haven’t been ground into flours as I’ve read that they can have the same effect on blood sugar, so these look really helpful! I guess I’m also wondering about increasing strength/building muscle vs. endurance training but these look like a good start. Thank you again!

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Samantha January 2, 2013

Yeah, I have been reading the book Wheat Belly and it talks about the blood sugar spikes even with “whole grains” being a huge issue. This is primarily because the growers of the grains have distorted the original whole grains so much that they are not the same at all. Pretty interesting read…by the way I’m a librarian so I have an excuse for all the excess reading I do :)

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Jennifer December 31, 2012

I’m current a vegetarian working towards being vegan in 2013. I would love to see more recipes where those of us without a wholefoods/wegmans near by could make vegan recipes. I LOVED how your cookie ball recipe included ingredient swaps for items I can’t find at my local grocery store. I would also love to see what beauty products you recommend- I know this is a cooking blog but my first vegan goal this year is to cut out all animal tested products!

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Samantha December 31, 2012

I think this is a great idea. I am a part-time vegan, but planning to make it more of a full-time gig this coming year. One thing that I have really been looking into lately is taking out a lot of the excess gluten that I eat (have been reading Wheat Belly and it’s kind of freaked me out). What do you think about vegan baking that’s gluten free? Will you have any recipes like that in your soon to come cookbook? So looking forward to your cookbook! Blessings for the new year.

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Cat December 31, 2012

Great idea! I think it’s important to always have a reminder of how vegan diets can be healthy – and how to make them that way. I became a vegan for health reasons. My doctor told me then that if I noticed, I would never see a cow eating meat to get their protein, and that I wouldn’t need to, either. I was vegan for 1-1/2 years until last month when I *had* to add egg and chicken to the new anti-candida diet (ACD) I’ve had to start. I’ve missed a lot of the whole grains, but developed sensitivities to them; hoping that this ACD will heal me so that I can again enjoy some of those foods that were so satisfying. I have to tell you, though, that becoming a vegan opened a whole new world of veggies to me. I can remember the first time I tried chard – and didn’t know that I should remove the tough stems for the way I cooked it. Now I’ve learned that chard stems can be sauteed with onions and put into soups and such. I think hints like those would be very helpful to newbies. Looking forward to what I can learn from others with your new plan!

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Jessa December 31, 2012

The the one I hear the most as far as vegan meal intimidation is meal prep times. There are a lot of very delicious vegan recipes out there that just take a looong time to make or require ingredients that new-to-vegan people simply won’t have in their pantry. I think we have the bad tendency to assume the basics of an easy vegan meal are obvious (because they are to *us*) and only post the more advanced ones we’re prouder of creating.

I think the majority of recipes people find are intimidatingly complex, use scary new ingredients like Nutritional Yeast, or take too much time compared to what they’re used to preparing. On a weeknight I try to aim for dinners that leave awesome leftovers for lunch the next day, as well as taking less than 30 minutes from the start of cooking to starting to eat. Recipes that fit those criteria are shockingly hard to find.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 31, 2012

This is such a great point, am something I’m probably guilty of myself.

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Laura December 31, 2012

This is such a great idea Angela. I’ve always been intrigued by veganism but because I do not know any vegans I have no one to model habits after, or simply observe. By revealing how you approach a vegan diet, with meal planning and such, I think it will offer people realistic ways to approach a completely new diet.

My fear with veganism is losing muscle mass. Maybe it is irrational but I do fear that strength training will become extremely trying. What are your thoughts on this?

Your blog is great Angela, and probably is so because of the effort you put in reinventing yourself and constantly improving this space. It’s a wonderful and unique :)

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Brianna December 31, 2012

First, I love that you’re doing this! I have been vegetarian for going on ten years now, and in 2012 I took so many more steps toward becoming vegan. I have it down at home, but what I have yet to figure out how to do well – and without feeling deprived – is how to handle social situations, especially at work and with family.

So often at work there are celebrations that incorporate sweets (which of course I love!) and I know that the sweets contain eggs or milk or something of that nature. I don’t always have time to make myself a dish and I often feel like I’m either insulting the person who made the treat, or trying to be “righteous” by saying “No, I don’t eat that.”

Also, my family understands that this is a diet I’m trying to adapt, and often tries very hard to purchase things for me to eat. But what often happens is I realize later that the soy cheese they bought actually has dairy in it, etc. I often eat it because I know they have made such an attempt to accommodate my eating habits, but then I feel like I will never be able to be 100 percent vegan.

I would love to hear how you and others handle these situations.

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Sarina @ Earthgiven Kitchen December 31, 2012

I’m so glad you are doing this! I’ve been vegan for almost two years now. The most common question I get is: How do you live without CHEESE?! I say that Daiya is a delicious substitute for melted cheese (pizza, etc) and Tofutti Cream Cheese is my favourite for cool and creamy substitutes like cheesecakes and sandwich spreads. Soaked and pureed cashews also make a great substitute. I thought I’d miss cheese terribly, but after a couple of weeks, I had no desire to eat it anymore.

I think the most important lesson to impart to the wanna-be vegan (at least it was for me), is that you don’t have to be perfect. I think too many people think it’s impossible to be a perfect vegan, so they don’t try for fear of being a hypocrite. It’s better to do something, than nothing! And go easy on yourself.

Hope that helps! :)

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Marilyn December 31, 2012

This is a great idea! It sounds like others are having similar questions to mine. Looking forward to the series.

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Jacinth Adams December 31, 2012

A series like that would be wonderful!! I have just started my journey into moving over to a completely plant based diets. The soups are the easiest (BTW your spicy lentil and kale soup is outstanding) because with my schedule I can make it on the weekends and it lasts through the week. Breakfast for me is a particular challenge; besides oatmeal there aren’t a lot of good options!!!

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Vicki December 31, 2012

YESSSS! I am looking forward to this series.
I’d love to go vegan – it’s actually becoming a personal goal, together with going gluten-free – but I live in a rural area of Quebec where everyone who is a bit different really sticks out of the crowd, so as a vegeterian I am often looked at as a ‘weird person’. The only vegeterian options I have in local restaurants are pizza and pasta – so forget about going gluten-free. So, social eating is a big worry for me.

It’s also GREAT to have daily inspiration for new vegan meals and snacks – keeps us motivated!!

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colleen siullivan December 31, 2012

I love the idea of you teaching this class.. My question is my daughter (age 15) and I mostly vegetarian and go toward vegan to. HOw do I stay only vegan? Do you like using the meat and cheese substitutes? Or an you not use them!!! Also How do I convince my son(age 17) and husband who are meat eaters and picky eaters to try this??

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Lizzy December 31, 2012

Hey Angela! First off I love your blog and have been following it for the entirety of 2012. I have always agreed strongly with the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet and have wanted to take the plunge. After seeing a Ted Talk by Matt Cutts encouraging people to try something they’ve always wanted to do for one month, I’ve decided to “go vegan” for the month of January.

My biggest challenge with going vegan is my busy schedule and finding time to plan meals make myself food. I am a student, work 20 hours/week, have multiple leadership positions, and volunteer regularly, which has resulted to eating out/on the run/whatever’s easily available, not conducive strategies for a vegan lifestyle. If you could provide some tips on how to make veganism work witha busy lifestyle and how to navigate those times when you are forced to find something convenient, that would be super helpful for me to complete my first New Year’s Resolution. Thanks so much, and keep up the inspiring work!

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JenB December 31, 2012

My husband and I are vegetarian and already use “substitutes” like tofu and seitan. But he has recently cut out dairy as well and I am having a harder time preparing meals that he will eat. Any ideas would be welcomed, looking forward to this series!

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Janelle December 31, 2012

Yes! I’m so excited for this series!

I’ve been experimenting with the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle for a few years now. I grew up on a farm in Iowa and have many relatives, family, and friends that are deeply connected to corn manufacturing businesses and raising livestock. When I’m back home, I have a difficult time with eating meals with family and friends since absolutely everything involves meat and dairy. Perhaps you could incorporate suggestions on how to talk with family/friends into the series. For me, I know ultimately it’s my decision and they will support whatever I do but I anticipate heavy push-back initially. Thanks again!!

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Emily December 31, 2012

Hi Angela! I think this would be a great series and am super excited about reading what you have to say! I would love to read about your meal plans- what you eat on a daily basis!! Can’t wait for the cookbook! Happy New Year!

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Amanda December 31, 2012

I love this idea!! I have been a vegan for less than a year and at times it is very hard for me so tips would be awesome! The biggest thing I struggle with is eating out. I don’t eat out very often but there are those few times when friends want to hang out and the social thing is usually eating. I find it hard to be comfortable in these situations and awkward when it has revolve around what I can eat. Another thing is eating at family get-togethers. It’s awkward having to bring my own meal because I don’t want to make a big deal out of it and then having everyone question what I am eating. At times I feel that I am being classified right away into this category as a vegan and that’s not all that I am. I just want to eat something/somewhere and not have everything I can and can’t do questioned. How do you deal with these situations and get past the part being solely defined as a vegan?

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Brittany December 31, 2012

love this topic! I second everything you said!!!

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Holly December 31, 2012

Hi Angela! I am new to the site but am really enjoying the posts. I have been attempting veganism on and off for a while now but I made a commitment a couple days ago to stick with it. I have many of the ingredients your recipes call for in my pantry and look forward to lots of experimentation. I have a couple of questions for you (not sure if you can help or not…) – I am a new mom (baby boy is almost 4 months old) and have decided to train for a half marathon, 4 days a week starting the end of January. I want to make sure I am getting adequate nutrition for both muscle repair and for my son’s continued health (I am exclusively breast feeding as of right now). What are some of the foods you would recommend that provide a good source of protein and will help maintain a good level of energy? In a world obsessed with ‘getting enough protein,’ particularly from animal sources, I want to make sure that I am not damaging my muscles in my quest to eat consciously. I am not completely sold on the emphasis of mass consumption of protein but I am adamant that I do this in the healthy way, without jeopardizing my body or the growth of my son. If you could recommend a number of sources that provide the most protein, I will know where to start when planning out pre and post run meals/snacks. I am also really looking forward to this series, and to continued exploration of your blog…beautiful! Thanks so much!!

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